On February 2, William & Mary’s LL.M. and MBA programs jointly held their first speed networking mixer at the Hair of the DoG Bottle Shop in Merchants Square in Williamsburg. It was an opportunity to meet, to mingle, and to forge lasting professional and personal connections.
Law and business students found they had more in common with each other professionally than anticipated. “I met some business school students with backgrounds in management and accounting,” said LL.M. student Shuaijie (David) Zhang. “As a lawyer, especially a business lawyer, we may have more chances to cooperate" with business students and business executives in the future, he said.
The fast-paced nature of the event meant that each student had to perfect an “elevator speech,” a very brief pitch explaining who they were and their professional aspirations and share it with over 20 different people.
“We got a chance to practice how to conduct a short professional conversation with others,” added Zhang. “It's an important skill for any lawyer. When lawyers meet potential clients, they should be able to give a short "elevator pitch" so that the client can learn more about them and begin to build trust.”
“Knowing how to make a good first impression when we meet strangers is an important skill for our future careers and for occasions like interviews,” said LL.M. student Xiran (Aaron) Xie. “Also, by talking to each other, we had the chance to share our interests" and present ourselves in a multi-dimensional way, she said.
This event differed from a typical mixer in that it encouraged students to leave their “comfort zone” and “to encounter new students with different perspectives” according to Lin Wang, an LL.M. alumnus who helped coordinate the event.
When asked whether the event led to new connections, Qingwen Wang, a MAcc student, felt it was a “real” speed networking environment where students could make new friends and practice conversation skills in a couple hours.
Beyond professional networking, the event also helped graduate students from different schools at the university form new friendships. “It expanded our social circle,” said Zhang. “By getting to know more people, we can now plan more fun future events together, such as attending the W&M spring festival GALA on this Saturday.”
About the LL.M. Program
Our innovative LL.M. program is designed for foreign-educated students and attorneys who want to compete in an increasingly globalized legal world. We have been welcoming students from all over the world since 1989.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.